Cinematographer Christopher Lew recently shot a spec ad for Mini Cooper. The ad called for an overnight, all exterior location shoot of different colored Mini Coopers driving through the Toronto city streets. Because it was shot at night and the Mini Cooper is an ultra-compact car – Chris needed an ultra-compact lighting kit. The RoscoLED Tape Gaffer Kit was his solution. Below, Chris explains how he put the kit to work in the ad.
The main challenges of this shoot were space and time. Obviously shooting inside and around a compact car like the mini was going to be a big challenge – especially considering the entire spot took place at night. Rosco’s LED tape saved me in two ways: its high output and ease of use.
The connectivity between the LED strips and the accessories was plain and simple, which made the RoscoLED Gaffer Kit easy-to-use. This allowed me to hand the kit to a PA who had never used the lights before to get the car rigged up in no time, which freed me up to spend more time planning the shots with the director.
On the shoot, we had two different Minis that were our picture cars. This often meant rigging one car then tearing down and rigging the other as fast as possible. Thanks to the lightweight, small profile of the easy-to-use RoscoLED Tape, we were able to use regular old black paper tape to install the LEDs into position, which allowed us to get the strips in-and-out of the vehicles quickly.
The RoscoLED Tape Gaffer Kit is available in both tungsten and daylight versions. We decided on the 5600K daylight for two reasons: 1.) they matched most of the locations we were shooting in that tended to have cooler/neutral white streets lights, and 2.) we also knew we wanted to go for a bluer night look in the grade.
Finally, the output of the strips gave me peace of mind that no matter what part of the city we were shooting in. I always had enough light to get a good exposure inside the car. A diverse cast of different skin tones was no problem for the RoscoLED Tape. In fact, we never needed to bring any of the LED tape strips to 100%. Everything rigged inside the car was almost always dimmed down below 50% using the Single Fader Dimmer that came in the kit.
Here is the final Mini ad – featuring the car interiors illuminated by the RoscoLED Tape Gaffer’s Kit:
Christopher Lew is a cinematographer based in Toronto Ontario. His work covers commercials, music videos short films and branded content with a focus on evocative imagery. More of his work can be found at www.christopherlew.com and on his Vimeo page, or you can follow him on Instagram.
You can visit the RoscoLED Tape Gaffer Kit product page to learn more about the LED strips & accessories Chris used to illuminate the Mini Cooper interiors for this ad.